Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Trainer-Budget and Noise Issues

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Trainer-Budget and Noise Issues

Old 08-17-12, 12:13 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 53

Bikes: 2014 Jamis Nova Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Trainer-Budget and Noise Issues

Hi everyone. So I have started looking for a trainer to keep in shape for the winter here in Chicago. It's already started to get a little cold in the mornings and night. I do still plan to ride in the cold but rain and snow might put a dampener on things. Also sometimes you just don't feel like going out. So I am looking for something that is under $200 and would not cause too much racket as I live in an apartment building and have downstairs neighbors. I've been doing a little bit of research and have at least found out that a Fluid trainer might be the best bet. Has anyone found one that's been kind of a surprise as far as quality and value? I would appreciate any input. Thanks!
Guitarfool5931 is offline  
Old 08-18-12, 10:12 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Try Craigslist; reduce noise with trainer tire & acoustic isolation/damping

One thing to try is keep watching and also posting a "Wanted" on Chicago's Craigslist for any of the Kurt Kinetic fluid resistance or any 1Up trainers. They have the reputation for both being quiet and durable; you might get lucky and find one for under $200.

Minimizing noise is not just what trainer you buy. Other steps include:
  1. Use a dedicated, smooth, hard rubber trainer tire such as Continental's HomeTrainer tire or Tacx's Trainer Tyre. These are not recommended for use off the trainer (I think they do not grip well on pavement) so unless you really like changing tires, you will want to get a low-cost, heavy, rear wheel dedicated for trainer use or dedicate one bike for use only on the trainer during the off-season. I have the older version of the Continental (yellow/orange rubber) and it qualifies as the most difficult to mount tire I have ever had but they last forever and do not generate black rubber debris on the trainer.
  2. Acoustically isolate the trainer from the floor by placing the trainer on some plywood with foam rubber or an inflated inner tube between the plywood and the floor.
  3. Surround the rear wheel with some sound-absorbing material such as carpet remnants or the interlocking dense foam floor mats or such. This also keep small children or pets from getting seriously injured by the spokes.
Get a video screen or reading stand or video game or something to watch or a heart rate monitor and a training schedule because trainers can get very boring very fast. Rollers, on the other hand, keep you more alert (Link1, Link2).

Last edited by Giro; 08-18-12 at 10:22 PM.
Giro is offline  
Old 08-21-12, 09:18 AM
aka: Mike J.
treebound's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: between Milwaukee and Sheboygan in Wisconsin
Posts: 3,441

Bikes: 1995 Trek 520 is the current primary bike.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked 52 Times in 34 Posts
+1 on watching CL, also watch nearby areas and thrift shops.
+1 on padding or insulating between the trainer and the floor.

Also try different places inside your place to use the trainer. In one apartment I had if I put a trainer or rollers anywhere in the living room it sounded like I was riding on a huge bass drum to the point that even my upstairs neighbor could hear it, but in a bedroom next to a bathroom wall it was dead silent.

And try to synchronize your training sessions for times that your neighbor will be away or doing something else or otherwise is distracted which will reduce their awareness to any sounds coming from your place. Sometimes you can talk with them (but with some neighbors that is not recommended), or invite them to "train" with you and start a building spin session group.

I picked up a free set of rollers one day on my way home sitting next to someone's trash on trash day, just needs a belt, non-folder but who cares. Another set of rollers I have was found on Craigslist and came with a repair stand for less than what a used trainer would cost up here. Then I found a mag-trainer at a thrift shop for cheap so I'm all set for the winter. Just keep your eyes and ears open.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Life happens, don't be a spectator.
treebound is offline  
Old 08-21-12, 02:05 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 53

Bikes: 2014 Jamis Nova Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was thinking of getting rollers but after reading all the reviews on their noise levels I decided against it. The plywood with foam is a great idea. I will definitely give that a try. I ended up going with the Travel Trac Comp Fluid Trainer from Performance for now. I will let you know how it goes. I do plan on putting either my phone with Netflix or something that will entertain me. Also, I'll most likely end up putting the trainer in my bedroom next to the exterior wall as it will probably be the least disturbing for them. I will also put a note on their asking that they feel free to call me if the noise seems to loud for them. Wish me luck and thanks for the advice!
Guitarfool5931 is offline  
Old 08-21-12, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,346 Times in 853 Posts
were you to fabricate a platform with vibration isolation feet,
between the platform and the floor, that would resolve
some of the noise transmission to the flooring and joists..

good vibration isolators hang in tension, rather than in compression..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-23-12 at 11:18 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-21-12, 03:05 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 53

Bikes: 2014 Jamis Nova Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, I will have to see if I can find some rubber feet to put between the floor and the plywood sandwiched with the foam mat.
Guitarfool5931 is offline  
Old 08-21-12, 03:49 PM
working on my sandal tan
ThermionicScott's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,302

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Mentioned: 97 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3729 Post(s)
Liked 2,279 Times in 1,431 Posts
What's a "trainer"? Some kind of cycling coach?
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 08-21-12, 03:57 PM
no motor?
Unlisted member
no motor?'s Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 6,193

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1376 Post(s)
Liked 432 Times in 297 Posts
I put a yoga mat under my magnetic trainer and the noise isn't too bad. There were a lot of magnetic trainers advertised for $10 under the cost of a new one when I looked, make sure you look around.
no motor? is offline  
Old 08-22-12, 09:18 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,721

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 854 Post(s)
Liked 111 Times in 66 Posts
Studded tires work great in the winter.Outside, HTFU, YRMV . Fresh air is good for you.
Leebo is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
11-01-14 07:50 AM
Fifty Plus (50+)
10-13-12 01:20 PM
Road Cycling
12-27-10 11:13 AM
General Cycling Discussion
04-28-10 09:01 AM
Training & Nutrition
12-08-09 09:48 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.